When working with animals in the wild, the best premise is always – in and then out again – quickly. Wild animals should seek out volunteers if and when they have a need for them. These are wild animals and should be treated as such. This is unfortunately not the case at many organizations. To many volunteers see the wild animals as some sort of pet or perhaps a trophy or even a way to show the outside world what a ‘good person’ they are for spending time with them. “See what I’m up to? Isn’t it awesome?” Actions like this are detrimental to the animals.
My goal is to shut down any organization that does not put the welfare of animals first and foremost. Everyone should be working to put an end to crimes like people sitting on the backs of drugged tigers, or petting an anesthetized lion. Or those that use a baby elephant for beach massages or allow rides on its back. Places that allow ‘selfies’ with captured monkeys. It is simply time to put an end to circuses and aquarium shows that use animals as ‘performers’.
These organisations are more concerned about money than what is best for wild animals, and are the wrong places for volunteers to learn about wildlife, instincts and habitat. Remember, they often earn money for taking on volunteers, but do you want to work for a place like that?